Life Sciences

  • While the region has gained visibility through its successful industry pioneers and leaders, it has also become the home to a thriving environment for young start ups. This unique life sciences ecosystem of mature and entrepreneurial contributors provides a promising catalyst for future innovation and economic development on the North Shore.
    The Life Sciences Industry on the North Shore,North Shore Workforce Investment Board

The Life Sciences cluster is one of the most dynamic on the North Shore, although there is no Life Sciences industry classification code. The cluster has grown steadily, right through the recession and, in fact, more than 160 companies (nearly 40 percent) have been established since 2008.

 Our life sciences companies are diverse—some develop reagents, others make lab instruments and still others, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.  There are also a number of contract research organizations providing services to the industry. Virtually all sell to global markets from their North Shore base.

 Support for life sciences is strong on the North Shore, ranging from the North Shore Technology Council to the North Shore InnoVentures biotech business incubator to the Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore, which is helping to support biotech workforce training at four local colleges and the incubator.  There are additional workforce training initiatives and company clusters in several industrial parks and entrepreneurial centers. There is every expectation that life sciences will continue to thrive in Essex County.


  • Estimates of life sciences businesses on the North Shore, range from 84 to more than 400, due to how businesses self identify. Most–75%–qualify as small businesses.
  • Up to 6,000 people are employees of these companies.
  • If one accepts the broadest definition of life science companies, they generate nearly $10 billion in annual revenues.


  • The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) has brought $1.3 billion in private industry matching funds into the state over the past six years, a 236 percent return on its investment of $550 million
  • The Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore is an educational collaborative involving Endicott College, Gordon College, North Shore community College, Salem State University, and North Shore InnoVentures. A recent $5 million capital equipment grant from the MLSC will enable the Consortium to teach workers the latest methodology on state-of-the-art equipment, ensuring a workforce trained on industry-standard equipment and affording start-ups access to that equipment as well.


Analogic | Applied Materials | Axcelis | Bomco | Cell Signaling Technology | GE Aviation